Tamil Nadu, which has taken a big leap in cadaver organ transplantations in last two years, has crossed the 400—mark after two government hospitals performed five organ transplants recently.

Four kidneys, two livers, four eyes and some portion of heart valves were harvested in a space of less than 13 hours from two accident victims Venkatesan (29) and Parthiban (42), declared brain dead recently after their relatives agreed to donate the organs.

With this, the total number of vital organ donations recorded in the State’s central organ registry has crossed 400 since 2008 when the government launched the State—wide programme to create awareness about cadaver organ transplants

As against a meagre six donors accounting for 30 transplantations in 2008, the State witnessed a quantum jump in 2009 with 317 transplants from 59 donors.

Tamil Nadu Health and Welfare Secretary V. Subburaj said many people were willing to donate organs, but awareness among medical professionals and the public was lacking. The state government, on its part, has allocated Rs five crore for cadaver and stem cell maintenance, he said.

According to Dr. J. Amalopavanathan, Transplant Coordinator, Cadaver Transplant programme, Tamil Nadu has emerged on top among the states in cadaver organ donations and organ harvesting in the past six months, putting it on par with top performers at the international level, despite constraints in infrastructure.

Explaining about the latest transplantation, GH Dean Dr. J. Mohanasundaram told PTI that “A 30—member renal transplant team, including doctors and para medicos, conducted three kidney transplants at the Government General Hospital and one kidney and one liver transplant at Stanley Medical College within a record span of 13 hours.”

Stating that the transplantation procedure was a challenging task since it required co-ordination of multiple doctors, Mr. Subburaj said the surgeries were successful and all the patients were doing well.

The beneficiaries of the programme were poor patients coming to government hospitals, he said.

According to hospital sources, of the four harvested kidneys, three were transplanted at the GH (on two women - aged 19 and 29 and a 35-year old man. The fourth kidney was given to the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital and transplanted on a 24-year-old man.

Mr. Mohanasundram said the eyes were donated to the eye bank and the heart valves were given to a private hospital for using them later as matching recipients could not be ascertained immediately.